2006 Student Research Conference:
19th Annual Student Research Conference

Interdisciplinary

The Struggle to Reduce Attrition: First-Year Experiences of Minority Students and their Effect on Retention Rates at Truman State University
Amber S. Byrd
Dr. Michael Seipel, Faculty Mentor

Current and former Truman State University students of underrepresented race/ethnicity were surveyed about their first-year college experiences and demographic characteristics. Current students were asked if they had ever considered leaving Truman, if so why, and what made them stay; former students were asked to explain the circumstances surrounding their decision to leave Truman, and if they planned to or wanted to return to the University. Reasons cited for leaving or considering it were varied, with the most common responses relating to the rural/ small town environment, academic problems, personal issues, and financial difficulties. The lack of significant difference between responses of current and former students on almost all demographic and experience questions suggests that a student’s decision to leave or stay at the University is the outcome of a complex and interrelated set of experiences that may resist easy measurement.

Keywords: retention, rates, minority, students, reduce, attrition, first, experiences

Topic(s):Interdisciplinary

Presentation Type: Oral Paper

Session: 59-1
Location: OP 2113
Time: 2:45

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